Wednesday, 24 June 2020

DIY Diaries: The Kitchen Edit with Frenchic Paint

It's been a while since I did any DIY around the house- partly because at one point we were looking to move but we've since decided to stay put. With COVID happening, I thought decorating would be the perfect thing to keep me busy and then I really got the bug for it when I discovered Frenchic Paint.

Radiator Cover- Amazon

Having discovered a Facebook group where people are raving about this paint and sharing their makeovers, I quickly became engrossed. They weren't just doing your usual makeovers of wooden furniture and what not. Oh no! Front doors, kitchens, leather sofas and more were being made over in this paint and it got me thinking...Could I do our kitchen?

The paint we decided to go with is the Alfresco Range in the shade "Swanky Pants" for the top cabinets and "City Slicker" for the bottom cabinets and "Dazzle Me" for the tiles. This particular range can be used both indoors and outdoors and is self sealing, self priming and is suitable for woods, laminate, UPVC, composites and metals. With COVID going on, we were lucky to place an order online with a stockist in Peterborough called Golden Crown Furniture and collect it. We also purchased the sugar soap to clean everything with as well as the Frenchic detailer brushes and large and small oval brushes.

We got to work prepping the kitchen firstly by cleaning the kitchen cabinets and tiles with sugar soap before lightly sanding them down so that the paint had a better surface to adhere to. We then went ahead removing door handles and taping up the windowed cabinets before painting the ceiling and walls with white paint.

The next step was to start painting the cabinets! In all honesty I was a bit nervous to begin with but shortly after the first few brush strokes I changed my mind as this paint applies like a dream! It's creamy consistency doesn't run or drip and a little bit really does go a long way so I felt reassured that my 750ml tins would cover the entire kitchen. The brushes are also amazing, especially the detailer brushes to get into difficult nooks and crannies and for precision when doing edges too. After the first coat the kitchen already looked brighter and more modern and the best part was you only have to wait two hours for it to dry before applying the second coat! It took two coats to cover the bottom cabinets in City Slicker whereas the top cabinets in Swanky Pants took 3-4 coats to cover. I also found this when painting the tiles in Dazzle Me so I would say that for lighter shades, expect to do 3-4 coats on a project.

It took us a day to paint the kitchen and already we were over the moon with the result!

The day after painting! Excuse the mess lol

Along with painting the cabinets, we also wanted to re-vamp the worktops. A lot of people using Frenchic paint have used DC Fix- an adhesive vinyl material that can cover over many surfaces. I bought the Ribbeck Oak wood effect and again I was initially sceptical as it is a bit of a sod to apply. I was having flashbacks to my school days of covering my school books with sticky back plastic. It's basically doing lots of that but I am so pleased with the final result.

I will however admit a teething problem (even though this kills me, but I'd rather be honest so you don't make the same mistakes we did) I've since had with the DC Fix, but this is our own error. Where one edge finished and another began, we had lined it up beautifully. It was flush, but what we should have done is overlapped it slightly to compensate for shrinkage. We didn't realise there would be residual shrinkage after application so we have noticed some space appear between sheets. It is incredibly minute- we're talking a millimetre and is probably only something notice but it is doing my head in so I wouldn't be surprised if I re-do it at a later date!

Overall, I am over the moon with how the kitchen has turned out. I'm still waiting on a few bits to arrive to finish it off decor wise but I apart from that it's now complete!

I've also written a post on these DIY shelves which you can read here

Bar Stools- Amazon
Blind- Blinds 2go

Kettle- Dunelm
Toaster- Dunelm
Tea, Coffee Sugar Cannister set and matching bread bin- Dunelm
Henry Watson Coffee Canister- Amazon
Wooden coffee scoop- Amazon

We were so impressed with the paint that we then went on to paint the radiator in Frenchic's Blackjack and DC fix the radiator shelf which has made for the perfect little letter area!

What was a dated kitchen now feels really fresh and modern and cost under £200 to decorate as opposed to paying thousands on a new kitchen.

I'd definitely recommend giving this a go if you're looking to revamp your kitchen on a budget and would highly recommend Frenchic Paint for painting projects!

Monday, 15 June 2020

DIY Rustic Scaffold Shelves

This post is one I almost didn't write because it seems almost self explanatory but after recieving comments from family and friends saying "I thought you'd bought them" and "how did you do it", I decided it might be blog post worthy!

Scaffolding shelves and rustic shelving have become a huge trend in recent times and you can buy some amazing pieces but they come with a hefty price tag so Chris and I decided to give it a go oursevles!

Chris picked up these unwanted scaffolding planks for free which were a bit grubby and with cement remnants on them. He then set about chipping off the cement and cleaning them up before having them cut to size.

Our neighbour very kindly offered to cut them for us and being an ex carpenter, he cut them beautifully with his tools. Of course you can do this yourself and we would have done otherwise but as he had all the kit and was keen to do it for us, we jumped at the chance! Length wise we opted for a size that would best fit the space we wanted the shelves to go- another benefit of making them yourself. The depth of the shelves was determined a) by the space and b) the brackets I chose. I opted for these beautiful hand made steel brackets from eBay which were 6 inches.

Next Chris sanded down and smoothed off the wood before staining it. We chose this dark oak colour from Colron which colours and protects the wood in one and ended up only applying one coat to get the desired colour and effect we wanted.

Chris then attached the brackets to the shelves. Again we initially decided where to place the brackets by eye which worked out roughly 5 inches from the edge of the shelf and then he measured this for the following two shelves to ensure they would all match.

Finally Chris hung them on the wall and I style and titivated them! This DIY was basically done by Chris and with the help of our neighbour and I'm so pleased with how they turned out. My contribution was choosing the brackets, stain and styling after!

I'd really recommend giving this DIY a go! The shelves are so simple to make but really add to a space. In total it cost us £46 to make these, £30 on the brackets and £16 for the stain!

Are you into this style of shelving and would you make them yourself?

Sunday, 31 May 2020

The Perfect Running Headphones: AfterShokz

I've been running for just over a year now and the one thing I love to have whilst doing so is music. Through my running journey I've used your regular headphones plugging into my phone, progressing onto in ear wireless Bluetooth headphones, to over the head wireless headphones. All had been good but had their drawbacks that I thought I'd have to live with until I discovered AfterShokz. My brilliant husband bought me a pair for Christmas and since then I haven't looked back!

The first thing to note with these headphones is they're bone conducting, meaning that they sit on your facial bones and vibrate the sound into your inner ear rather than sitting in your ear. This makes them a) super comfortable and b) brilliant for keeping you safe and aware of your surroundings. For me these are perfect for road running so I can be aware of traffic but still listen to my favourite tunes as I'm pounding the pavement. They do take a little bit of getting used to, (I found them a bit ticklish to begin with!) but now I wouldn't use anything else. The sound is really crisp and as good as (infact better) that in ear headphones. They also have easy to use buttons to adjust your volume on compared to other wireless headphones I've used where you'd go to change the volume but instead skip your track (which Sod's law always happens during the best bit of the song!?)

I have the AIR AfterShokz and as the name suggests, they're incredibly light weighing just 30g and not only that they're really durable and flexible so you don't have to handle them too delicately. I literally can't feel them on my head despite me bobbing around and that makes them super comfortable, plus they have a lovely snug fit that works doesn't interfere with sunglasses, hats or hair dos. Gone are the days of cables hanging down and me catching them with my arms too- these are the dream.

If you're prone to sweating a lot or you like to run in the rain, you also don't need to worry. AfterShokz are sweat proof and water resistant. I used to worry when wearing my over ear headphones that they'd pack up on a rainy run and my in ear headphones would slip out of my ears as soon as there was a hint of moisture nearby!

The final thing to note is their longevity. The AIR headphones have 6 hour battery life if used continuously for you to listen to music or take calls which is perfect- particularly for marathons and other long distance runs. I used them for my marathon and they were perfect. Also to note that having worn them for over 5 hours on my marathon, they didn't rub or irritate in any way.

I literally cannot fault these headphones. They have exceeded my expectations and I can't see me ever using another pair of headphones again!

What do you run with?

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